Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. 2 Tim. 2:15

King James AV1611


The Kings of Israel
The Kings of Israel was taught by Dr. James Modlish

Lesson Ten
Absalom’s Rebellion
(2 Sam. 15-16)

I. The rebellion of the prince – 15:1-2

Read chapters 13 and 14 to get the complete story. Absalom’s beautiful sister Tamar was ruined by his half-brother, Amon, who was David’s oldest son. (3:2) Absalom had a dual purpose in mind when he found out what Amon had done: he wanted to revenge Tamar by killing Amon, but at the same time he would be removing the obvious heir to the throne. Absalom took matters into his own hands and killed Amon; then he fled to Gentile territory to hide away with the relatives of his mother. (13:37 & 3:3) In chapter 14 Joab interceded for Absalom and tricked David into bringing his wayward son back home.

Absalom wasted little time in building a loyal group of followers. He openly criticized his father’s administration and secretly stole the hearts of the people. After a time Absalom determined his movement was strong enough to risk open revolt. It is not surprising that Ahithophel, David’s counselor, sided with the rebels for it was his granddaughter, Bathsheba, that David had taken.(11:3 with 23:34) It looked as though Absalom would be successful and steal the crown from his father.

II. The reactions of the people – 15:13-16:23

While David was reigning in power, his real enemies would not dare to oppose him, but Absalom’s revolt gave them what appeared to be a wonderful opportunity to resist the king and get away with it. It was a time of sifting the true from the false.


A. David’s friends (15:13-37)

[1]. The Gentiles in his army led by Ittai the Gittite were loyal to their king.
Undoubtedly, these men had stood with David during his trying days of exile.
The two priests, Zadok and Abiathar, also started to follow their king, but David sent them back to the city. This in itself was a step of faith, for David was trusting God to give him victory and return him to his throne.
Hushai, David’s friend, was also sent back to the city to pose as an ally of Absalom; his counsel could change that of Ahithophel.

The picture is prophetic: David flees the city and crosses the brook Kidron. Jesus was rejected in Jerusalem, left the city, and crossed     Kidron to pray. (John 18:1) The “Judas” in David’s situation was his former friend, Ahithophel; perhaps Psalm 55:12-15 was written at this time. See also Psalm 3.


B. David’s enemies (ch. 16)

Times of rebellion are times of revelation; you see what an individual believes and where they stand.

[1]. Ziba lied to David about Mephibosheth (16:3; 19:24-30), and David was too quick to pass judgment.
[2]. Shimei was related to Saul’s family and openly showed his hatred for David. Abishai wanted to kill the man but David stopped him, showing tremendous grace during this trial. (16:5-13)
[3]. Ahithophel counseled Absalom to take David’s concubines for himself and thus openly break with his father. This fulfills 12:11,12.

The picture is so prophetic! Today Jesus Christ is despised and rejected of men just as David during the rebellion. What the rebels did not count on was the return of the king. It takes courage to remain loyal to the King, but you can be sure that the King will reward when He returns!

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